Mooresville, North Carolina -- Tom Carey, Jr. ended his four-race NASCAR Busch North Series schedule in the ...
Mooresville, North Carolina -- Tom Carey, Jr. ended his four-race NASCAR Busch North Series schedule in the #44 Team EJP/Santerre-Reece Motorsports Chevrolet with a 5th place finish at the MBNA E-Commerce 150 at Dover Downs International Speedway on Friday, September 21, 2001 in Dover, Delaware.
Carey and crew battled not only the 32 other competitors entered in the event, but the weather as well, as heavy rains showers moved in and around the greater Dover region on Thursday. Practice was hampered and qualifying and happy hour completely cancell ed.
"We didn't get any practice to speak of," Carey, an Orange, Massachusetts native, explained. "But no one else did either. Those that hit it off the truck were fast, those of us that didn't weren't as fast. With only a half hour or so of practice, we did n't really have a chance to dial the car in and fine-tune the set up. We were decent, but not blistering fast."
Carey started the event 21st after qualifying was rained out and the field was set according to NASCAR Touring rules. As a past race winner, Carey Jr. was lined up immediately after the point provision positions.
"We knew we had a decent car," the 36-year old Carey confirmed. "We just had to stay out of trouble, play the waiting game until pit stops cycled through and then race the last 50 laps."
Carey pitted at lap 41 taking on two tires and fuel. By lap 57 he took over the top spot and led for 18 laps before being passed for the lead by eventual race winner, Dale Shaw on lap 75. After one final pit stop on lap 90 for tires and a chassis adjustm ent, Carey mounted a charge through the field to race solidly back into the top-10 in 6th position. Carey looked to finish 6th until a late race caution caused a green-white-checkered race to the finish. The leader had problems on the restart which allow ed Carey to gain a position and finish 5th.
"We'll take 5th,"Carey admitted. "We wish we could have contended for the win, but we just missed the mark a little. Still, the car is in one piece and we did well this season with only racing four events." Carey finishes, "Of the four races we ran with the Busch North Series this year, we won one, were in position to win another until we blew a tire with three to go, won a Bud Pole Award and scored two top-five finishes. I'd say we did good."
Carey has two races left in his 2001 season with Team EJP Racing in the Craftsman Truck Series.